Automation is vital to modern railway wheel set maintenance shops. Automated facilities play a critical role in improving capacity and throughput in heavy haul, freight railroad, and passenger rail operations. Wheel shop operators seek new strategies in improving car/axle loadings, reducing downtime, extending rolling stock life, and managing rolling stock inventory levels. The traditional wheel shop design often constrains these improvements. However, an advanced and agile automated wheel shop designed, manufactured, and installed by Simmons Machine Tool Corporation will meet or surpass these desired capabilities.
In line with other contemporary manufacturing production lines, Simmons’ automated wheel shops utilize a host of automation technology. Automation systems such as robots, overhead gantry cranes, escapements, and turntables move wheel set components and assemblies throughout the shop without human interaction. Metal cutting machines for re-profiling wheel sets, reclaiming axles, and boring new wheels are fully automated with CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) and integrated measuring systems. Machines are grouped in cells according to operations. Special purpose measuring machines evaluate, qualify, and route wheel sets through the facility without human intervention.
Beyond increasing capacity and decreasing downtime, the wheel shop’s overall safety is greatly improved through decreased human interaction with equipment and wheel set components. We customize each facility to meet current and future production capabilities; only Simmons has the experience and technology to totally integrate all machines and automation systems. Floor-mounted machines and automation permit easy and fast installation while also facilitating future expansion.
Combining Simmons Machine Tool Corporation’s experience and rugged machine tools with modern automation technology will enable a more productive wheel shop and keep your vehicles on track.